Portal 2 Writer Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve

Wolpaw was a driving force in writing the story and dialogue for Portal 2.


Erik Wolpaw has left his job as a writer at Valve Corporation, according to a tip given to Gamasutra.  "Last day at Valve!" Wolpaw wrote in a Facebook status update. "People marching their crap out of the office in a box is the central theme of 90% of what [Jay] Pinkerton and I write, and now I'm finally doing it for real."

Wolpaw's departure come one year and change after Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw moved on from Valve. "@Wolpaw left Valve so I can now insult him freely without damaging the company's reputation," Laidlaw joked in a tweet from earlier today. "He's a comic genius and a true original."

Wolpaw was instrumental in writing Valve's Portal and Portal 2 puzzlers. He joined the company in 2004 and helped shape several heavy hitters in Valve's catalog, including Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, as well as Left 4 Dead 1 and Left 4 Dead 2.

As for what he'll be up to next, Wolpaw is listed as a writer for Double Fine's upcoming Psychonauts 2, although his work could be nearly finished depending on how early he got involved on the project.

Although long-time fans of their work are no doubt disappointed to see Wolpaw go, his departure is more disappointing than surprising. Half-Life 3 may or may not be happening, depending on who you ask and the day of the week, and Valve seems focused on multiplayer-centric games, leaving little for on-staff writers to do other than write hat descriptions. 

Writers' room at Valve.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 17, 2017 1:45 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Portal 2 Writer Erik Wolpaw Leaves Valve

    • reply
      February 17, 2017 1:46 PM

      lol that caption

    • DM7 legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
      February 17, 2017 2:13 PM

      The Valve of olde is fading away. That's what happens when the company doesn't make games anymore. :(

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        February 17, 2017 2:29 PM

        Supposedly they have 3 games in the pipeline. Also they make games, I just don't want to play them. I had my share of camperstrike until 1.6, tf2 before it turned into a hat mining factory (even shackers would hound you for that one shitty virtual item rotting away in your inventory) and dota (not that I played more than a couple of hours).

    • reply
      February 17, 2017 5:36 PM

      what does he mean by that quote about people marching their stuff out being the theme in all their work? is that some reference i'm not getting?

      also you missed a word in that last punchline fyi

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      February 17, 2017 5:50 PM

      I'm kind of ok with that. It didn't feel like he was doing a whole lot at Valve after Portal 2 and he's too good of a comedy writer to just be doing their non-game stuff like the comics.

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      February 18, 2017 5:29 AM

      lol, DAT CAPTION on the photo is awesome.

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